Form 1096: What it Is, Filing Instructions, and More

Sometimes, you need to hire workers who aren’t employees to complete certain tasks at your business. When you hire contractors or vendors, you must prepare Forms 1099-NEC or 1099-MISC so they can accurately file their personal tax returns. You also need to submit Form 1096 with the Forms 1099 you send to the IRS.

Learn what IRS Form 1096 is. And, get the information you need to know about filing it, like how to get copies, where to send Form 1096, and the 1096 deadline.

What is Form 1096?

Form 1096, Annual Summary and Transmittal of U.S. Information Returns, is a document that summarizes information returns you file with the IRS, such as Forms 1099-MISC and 1099-NEC.

Form 1096: Form 1096 summarizes information returns you file with the IRS.

In business, Form 1096 is most commonly used to summarize nonemployee compensation (payments made to independent contractors) reported on Forms 1099-NEC.

When it comes to reporting nonemployee compensation, you might think of Form 1096 as the independent contractor version of Form W-3, Transmittal of Wage and Tax Statement. Like Form W-2, Form 1099-NEC shows workers how much they were paid. And like Form W-3, Form 1096 summarizes the payments you made to independent contractors.

Form 1096 is also used to summarize other returns, like Forms 1099-DIV and 1099-INT. You must complete a separate Form 1096 for each kind of return you file. For example, if you need to give a Form 1099-MISC to 20 people and a Form 1099-DIV to one person, you must prepare two separate Forms 1096 to send to the IRS.

Filing Form 1096

Do not file Form 1096 on its own. You will only prepare it if you need to file one of its corresponding information returns. And, you must send it with its corresponding returns to the IRS.

Unlike Form 1099-NEC or 1099-MISC, do not send Form 1096 to independent contractors or applicable state tax agencies. Only send Form 1096 to the IRS.

Do not file Form 1096 if you file information returns electronically. And if you need to file 250 or more of a certain type of return, filing electronically is mandatory.

How to fill out Form 1096

Include certain information on Form 1096, such as personal information like your name, address, phone and fax numbers, and email address. And, you must record your business’s Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN) or your Social Security number.

Record the total number of forms you are sending with Form 1096. You also need to enter in the total amount of money you recorded on the corresponding information returns.

Finally, you will need to mark an X next to the type of form you are filing. For example, if you are filing Forms 1099-NEC, mark the box.

Where to get 1096 forms

You can order Form 1096 from the IRS. Do not print and use a Form 1096 from the IRS’s website. This is not a printable Form 1096. If you use it, you may be penalized.

Although forms are free from the IRS, there are quantity limits. Check with the IRS for more information.

You can place your order using the IRS’s website or by calling 1-800-829-3676. After placing your order, your documents should arrive within 10 business days.

Some accounting software providers, like Patriot Software, let you create and print unlimited Forms 1096 and 1099.

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Where to file Form 1096

You must file Form 1096 with the IRS. The address you use to mail the information returns and Form 1096 depends on where your principal business is located.

Contact the IRS for more information.

Form 1096 deadline

The deadline for Form 1096 depends on the deadline for the corresponding information returns you are sending.

Possible due dates include January 31, February 28, and March 31, depending on what you’re summarizing and how you’re sending it.

If you are reporting nonemployee compensation, Form 1099-NEC is due to independent contractors, the IRS, and applicable state tax agencies by January 31. The due date for filing Form 1096 is also January 31.

If you are using Form 1099-MISC to report a different type of 1099 vendor payment, or if you are filing certain other information returns (e.g., Form 1097), the due date is not until February 28 (paper) or March 31 (electronically).

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This article is updated from its original publication date of May 8, 2018.

This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.

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